Do video games cause mass shootings

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I figured since I'm on this forum I want to ask you all this, do video games cause mass shootings
 

Kim Pine

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I honestly can't tell if you're joking or not but in all seriousness, there is no link between video games and violence
 

Googoogaga Spaghetti

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Yes and since video games are sold around the world this is why mass shootings is a modern worldwide epidemic and not like just a United States thing or something and there were zero mass shootings before Pong set foot on this world.

the poor state of mental healthcare in this nation.
Adequate mental health care might prevent some shootings but poor mental health is not a consistent profile of a mass shooter, and mental health is also too often appropriated as a distracting bludgeon and such to further stigmatize people suffering from mental health problems.

I do agree that it's a disgrace that large contigents of people in my country think owning killing boomsticks is a priority over universal healthcare and mental healthcare.
 
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Googoogaga Spaghetti

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I'm still stunned that Walmart sells guns. It's like a ludicrous thing existing in futuristic dystopia. It's like the idea of a CVS or a Ross or Old Navy selling guns.
 

Fox McCloud

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If you're concerned about media influence on violence, video games are certainly not the most suspicious culprit. Propaganda that glorifies war and violence have long existed before video games gained enough complexity to feature those themes. In addition to that, many stories pass between generation upon generation as long as storytelling has existed and they all feature violence heavily. At some point, these things were scapegoated too, and some for more valid reasons than others (obviously, something actively encouraging you to join the army can certainly be considered at least partly responsible for you doing just that). Ultimately, though, the point is that video games were far from the first medium to introduce violence within them, and far from the first to be criticized for it.

It is very possible that video games influence the way that we look at violence, as all media influences the way that we interact with the world. In fact, I would even go as far as to suggest that that is very much happening, at least to some degree. That being said, to place it as the sole or even a very significant player in the uptick of violence attributes a lot of responsibility to game developers, who weren't even around for a lot of the world's tragedies. The thing is, the issue simply isn't so black and white that you can attribute all of it to one particular cause. Violence is much more nuanced a topic than it is often given credit in discussions like these, as a lot of context needs taken into consideration.

I've noticed even in this thread some of the stripping down of that, oversimplifying it to be "mental health issues". Many of the mentally ill are more likely to be subject to victimization than be the perpetrators of crimes (and even the crimes they are more likely to commit harm themselves more than others) — the idea that violence is a "mental illness thing" is once again a deflection, and an attempt to make the actions of these perpetrators seem alien as opposed to being grounded in some way, being a human thing. It's easier for many who don't have these mental illnesses to wave around a sense of superiority because they need less support than them, and it also helps them to minimize the fear that they feel at the mentally ill as well as justify the systemic abuse of them which has gone on for many years. To make out like the perpetrators are unfathomable makes it easier for people to wash their hands of the responsibility.

Instead of dehumanizing the perpetrators (or, and much worse, the mentally ill), it is worth getting to understand their motivations. And it is through that that one begins to realize just how varied the topic is, because mass shooters actually often shoot for a variety of different reasons. Some have pre-planned it, some do it as a crime of passion. Many mass shooters feel they have nothing to lose. Even school shooting varies depending on who the victims were supposed to be and even the perpetrator. Given how varied these causes can be, lumping them all together and saying that one cause is creating them is vastly oversimplifying the problem. It also ignores violence that is considered legal, because mass shooting statistics only count a certain kind of shooting, not all of them in general.

I won't pretend I know all the solutions because if someone did know, this problem would be solved already. All I know is that treating it with a broad brush just because the end result is similar is doing the topic a disservice.
 

Googoogaga Spaghetti

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I understand that some of the answers were really terse but I do believe that reaction partly owes to this question about a grave crisis affecting a country many of us live in being unsolicited and posed by an unfamiliar new user. It's quite a whiplash compared to the rest of the forum, in a similar vein to that one euthanasia thread, and it's such a shock that not many people are really willing to give much more detailed answer. I do think people in this thread have more detailed opinions (me included) this ongoing devastation, but the way the topic was done probably wasn't appropriate.
 

Fox McCloud

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I understand that some of the answers were really terse but I do believe that reaction partly owes to this question about a grave crisis affecting a country many of us live in being unsolicited and posed by an unfamiliar new user. It's quite a whiplash compared to the rest of the forum, in a similar vein to that one euthanasia thread, and it's such a shock that not many people are really willing to give much more detailed answer. I do think people in this thread have more detailed opinions (me included) this ongoing devastation, but the way the topic was done probably wasn't appropriate.
Re-reading over my post, I was a little harsh and I think that's because the topic of mental illness and the way that it interacts with violence really pushes my buttons with how it's discussed (I'm a very big mental health advocate, after all, and have an intimate interest in psychology), so I'm sorry about that. I know that a lot of that just comes down to society-wide ignorance on the topic and sensationalism (read: ableism) in media, and isn't necessarily the fault of the people posting it, and characterizing them otherwise is uncharitable of me. Like the euthanasia thread it's a little difficult to discuss this. It's especially so considering that since we're here on a video game board, a lot of us have probably had to deal with the "does violence cause video games?" discussion from outside so it elicits a negative reaction, causing some pushback like, "Hell no, mass shooters are just [insert negative adjective here]."

The short answer I would have to provide is no, I don't think video games cause mass shootings. There are other, more interesting conversations to be had about how video games influence the way we view violence in general, but it's already been discussed thoroughly that there is no direct causal relationship between them and any form of violence.
 

Princess Viola

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I will say up front that my comment about mental health was not meant to imply that everyone who has mental health issues is going to be a mass shooter or to imply that everyone who commits a mass shooting has mental health problems but was only done because I originally just said 'No' but wanted to make more than a simple drive-by post.
 

Googoogaga Spaghetti

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Re-reading over my post, I was a little harsh and I think that's because the topic of mental illness and the way that it interacts with violence really pushes my buttons with how it's discussed (I'm a very big mental health advocate, after all, and have an intimate interest in psychology), so I'm sorry about that.
If you believe you were harsh in your tone, that didn't register to me, perhaps because I'm more accustomed to finding one or two people who argue in bad faith that tend to bring out more aggression.

I won't pretend I know all the solutions because if someone did know, this problem would be solved already. All I know is that treating it with a broad brush just because the end result is similar is doing the topic a disservice.
It's a complex problem but I do believe we understand the basic gist of mass shootings:

The United States has an unusually high amount and proportion of mass shootings for a developed country. It outranks even many developing countries. This should be a simple, effective argument against the idea that video games cause mass shootings (though studies are put forth and also do not agree with that correlation or causation either), although most people who still argue that video games cause mass shootings past the 2000s tend to argue in bad faith and won't concede their flawed, U.S.-centric positions as they bring up other trite rebuttals.

The United States has a prolific gun culture with a history of the idea of rugged individualism that has been propagated by the existence of an amendment that argues that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. Gun control is unusually considered a passionate partisan hotbed where in many other countries gun control measures pass quickly after a mass shooting as in Australia and United Kingdom for instance.

Fueled by this culture and also fueling the culture, the United States has a powerful gun lobby closely aligned with a particular political party, the Republican Party, which Republicans have substantial political power despite its policies not polling very well with the general public (most people support some degree of gun control including background checks). This party also is usually responsible for putting forth policies that negatively affect our country's ability to handle mental health issues for its people by cutting funding for assistance programs as well as opposing background checks and healthcare coverage for those that need it the most.

This gun lobby has stymied research on the effects of gun violence though we do have some results that, in short, should lead to stricter gun ownership regulations and probably a buyback.

Even with degrees of gun control, the convoluted patchwork of state regulations do hinder the effectiveness of gun control, such as in Chicago where gun crimes are high but many guns are sourced from neighboring states with lax gun regulations.

All of these paragraphs will take entire books, EACH, to write about explaining how we got there and why and whatnot, by the way.
 
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